- Parks Tau and Nomathema Mokgethi have been chopped from newly elected Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi‘s cabinet.
- They have been replaced by Tasneem Motara and Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, respectively.
- Lesufi made the sweeping changes a day after being elected premier, having defeated DA candidate Solly Msimanga.
After a series of delays due to last-minute consultations, newly elected Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi eventually announced a reshuffled cabinet to assist him in the 18 months left before the national and provincial elections in 2024.
The biggest casualties from Friday’s announcement, which took place at the Gautrain Management Agency building in Midrand, were Nomathemba Mokgethi and Parks Tau who were relieved of their duties as health MEC and economic development and agriculture MEC, respectively.
This comes as a big blow for Tau, particularly given he was recalled in 2020 from the national government, where he was deputy minister for cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
He walked into the provincial office at a time when Gauteng had the highest number of Covid-19 cases and vowed to expand the economy in the safest way possible.
Tau has been replaced by Tasneem Motara, who previously held the position of infrastructure development and property management MEC.
Gauteng deputy ANC chairperson Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko replaced Mokgethi.
Lesufi said the portfolio would now be known as health and wellness.
“The reason we have added wellness is because our people [citizens] only arrive at hospitals when they are already very sick.
“We want to have in place a wellness programme that will ensure that we put up an information centre that will help our people before they are ill.
“The centre will also inform them about bed availability in hospitals, and this should reduce the queues. The wellness aspect would also regulate aspect of the wellness in terms of monitoring foodstuffs that are being sold,” added Lesufi.
A long-standing member of the Gauteng legislature, Faith Mazibuko, was rewarded for her consistency as she retained the community safety and security MEC position.
The new premier has tasked Mazibuko with recruiting 6 000 young people who would “assist the police and JMPD [Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department] in fighting crimes,” said Lesufi.
He added “if we can’t take the fight against criminals head-on, then we must forget, we want to push back on the aspect of vandalism and increase the portfolio’s budget as we want to have a patrol car in every ward in the province”.
“We are already in advanced talks with the minister of police to engage on how the new recruits would work hand in hand with the police.”
Lesufi indicated his vision was to have an e-panic button in every household that would alert authorities if residents were in trouble.
MPL Kefibone Diale has been promoted to transport MEC while former ANC Youth League leader Matome Chiloane will fill Lesufi’s vacant position of education MEC.
Another notable change was the splitting of the Department of Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs into two entities, human settlements, and cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
Muzi Khumalo has been appointed as the new cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC, with Lesufi saying he would focus mostly on coalitions.
“Human settlements need to be priorities separately as we try and revive the township, informal settlement, and our hostels,” he added.
Lebogang Maile is the human settlements MEC.
Jacob Mamabolo moves from roads MEC to finance MEC, with Lesufi tasking him with ensuring e-tolls are scrapped.
“We need the new MEC to find new revenue methods that we want to utilise to take the department from Sanral. He must utilise the relevant laws, and in agreement with the National Treasury, we want to be the first province to start a state bank,” said Lesufi.
He added the province was also looking to the portfolio to establish “a pharmaceutical company”.
The new sport, arts, culture, and recreation MEC is Morakane Mosupyoe.
Mbali Hlophe, who was MEC for the sport, has been moved to social development.
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Publish date : 2022-10-07 17:03:58